A Surprising Detour in the Pursuit of Happiness

Christopher Parkening, considered to be the world’s greatest classical guitarist, achieved his musical dreams by the age of thirty. By then he was also a world-class fly-fishing champion. However, his success failed to bring him happiness. Weary of performances and recording sessions, Parkening bought a ranch and gave up on the guitar. But instead of finding happiness after getting away from it all, his life became increasingly empty. He wrote, “If you arrive at a point in your life where you have everything that you’ve ever wanted and thought that would make you happy and it still doesn’t, then you start questioning things. It’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I had that and I thought, Well, what’s left?

While visiting friends, he attended church and put his faith in Christ. Parkening developed a hunger for Scripture and was struck by 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” He explains, “I realized there were only two things I knew how to do: fly fish for trout and play the guitar. Well, I am playing the guitar today absolutely by the grace of God … I have a joy, a peace, and a deep-down fulfillment in my life I never had before. My life has purpose … I’ve learned first-hand the true secret of genuine happiness.”